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date: 29 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter challenges the nearly universal reliance upon standard mathematical probability for mathematical modeling of chance and uncertain phenomena, and offers four alternatives. In standard practice, precise assignments are made inappropriately, even to the occurrences of events that may be unobservable in principle. Four familiar examples of chance or uncertain phenomena are discussed, about which this is true. The theory of measurement provides an understanding of the relationship between the accuracy of information and the precision with which the phenomenon under examination should be modeled mathematically. The model of modal or classificatory probability offers the least precision. Comparative probability, plausibility/belief functions and upper/lower probabilities are carefully considered. The selectable precision of these alternative mathematical models of chance and uncertainty makes for an improved range of levels of accuracy in modeling the empirical domain phenomena of chance, uncertainty, and indeterminacy. Knowledge of such models encourages further thought in this direction.

Keywords: courtroom, climate forecast, precision, measurement, frequentist, subjectivist, comparative probability, plausibility function, envelope of probability, tail event

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